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Neurontin Addiction: Abuse Signs & Treatment Options

Authored by Granite Recovery Centers    Reviewed by James Gamache    Last Updated: September 24th, 2021


James Gamache Medical Reviewer
Jim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and Licensed Masters Level Addictions Counselor (MLADC). He has been working in the field of mental health/addiction treatment since 1995. Jim earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Springfield College in 2000, and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Boston University in 2002. In 2002 Jim was hired by the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester holding the position of Clinical Case Manager. From 2004-2019, Jim was employed at WestBridge Inc. During his time at WestBridge, Jim held the following positions; Clinician, Team Leader, Director, & Chief Operations Officer. In 2019 Jim transitioned employment to GateHouse Treatment Center as the Clinical Director for 10 months. In October of 2020 Jim transitioned to Granite Recovery Centers and is currently serving as the Senior VP of Clinical Services and Quality Assurance.

For many people, drug abuse and addiction are sad realities they have to live with every day. Some people don’t even realize that there are addictions to particular drugs, especially those prescribed by doctors. Neurontin, medically referred to as gabapentin, is a prime example of a drug that people don’t consider to be harmful or addictive.

Neurontin treats neuropathic pain, epilepsy, hot flashes, and restless leg syndrome. It has not been on the market for long because its generic version was recently introduced in 2004. The drug’s uses and effects are still under extensive research.

A Neurontin prescription acts as a mild tranquilizer offering a euphoric high identical to the effect of cannabis. You experience a sense of relaxation and increased sociability. It has low addictive potential, and you can only increase its impact by mixing it with another drug like heroin. The effects of Neurontin depend on the user’s experience, dosage, and psychiatric history.

Commonly referred to as “morontin” and “gabbies” in the streets, Neurontin’s continued use leads to dependency. Just like any other drug, if you stop using the Neurotonin, your body presents withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are a crucial aspect of physical addiction.

A recent rise in the number of issued prescriptions is a clear indication that there is Neurontin over-dependence. Data from the Tayside region shows a steady rise in the number of individuals receiving medications. Since the drug is not restricted, it is easy to enhance its misuse and addiction potential.

Treatment for addiction to Neurontin is more complex than some other types of dependencies. This is because you may be addicted to more than one substance after mixing it with other drugs. However, this does not mean it is impossible. Like any other drug, recovery is always possible.

Neurontin Use and Abuse

Prescription drug abuse refers to excessive use of any particular drug beyond what has been approved by your doctor. Lying about symptoms to acquire dosage or taking the medication without a prescription are also forms of abuse. When you take more than instructed, you are abusing the drug, and discontinued use may lead to withdrawal symptoms.

The first case of Neurontin abuse was reported in the year 2004. A survey found that of individuals with a medical prescription, around 20% of them abused Neurontin, with some of them experiencing a high identical to that of cocaine. This report led to Neurontin’s removal from various correctional facilities as a safe medication to prescribe to inmates.

Neurontin is easy to acquire via legal prescriptions. It is then sold to the black market and is mixed with heroin as a cutting agent that triples its potency. Because of its availability, there is a high likelihood that there will be an increase in Neurontin abuse, regardless of its medical benefits.

Recreational use will rise sharply until its dangers gain recognition from government agencies. Consequently, the agencies will have to start placing restrictions on the drug’s prescription.

Granite Recovery Centers

Granite Recovery Centers has made an outstanding contribution to transforming the lives of drug-dependent adults. We have been in the industry for over 10 years, establishing ourselves as an authoritative center to conquer addiction.

Our addiction treatment centers ensure you get a unique blend of facts and evidence-based clinical psychotherapies. We boast a comprehensive 12-step curriculum.

Our curriculum consists of the following programs:

  • Intensive outpatient counseling
  • Primary residential treatment for Neurontin, codeine, alcohol, cocaine, and benzo addiction
  • Medical detox
  • Extended care, including recreational and cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Sober living featuring discharge planning and setting recovery goals

We offer Neurontin addiction treatment, and we will take you through the recovery process with utmost professionalism. Our residential addiction treatment centers offer qualified and helpful recovery programs.

In addition to treatment, we take the extra initiative of equipping you with vital skills that will help you cope with the outside world upon recovery. We improve your social life by ensuring that you make outstanding bonds with your peers. These bonds are crucial because you get someone to talk to after the rehabilitation process.

Contact us today, and let us accompany you through the road to recovery. Our active and ever-growing community is proof that we are the best at what we do.

Signs of Neurontin Addiction

The probability of getting addicted to Neurontin is low, but it can still happen on some occasions. On the rare occasion you get addicted, it becomes a serious issue because an overdose can lead to death. Signs of addictions vary between individuals who use the drug as a prescription and those without one.

The following Neurontin addiction signs occur among individuals without a prescription:

  • Coordination loss
  • Loss of memory
  • Speaking difficulties
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Drowsiness
  • Double vision
  • Awkward eye movements
  • Jerky movements
  • Double vision

It is usual for an individual taking prescribed Neurontin to have these side effects. It does not mean that they are addicted. However, side effects become predominant with the continued use of the drug, which, in turn, becomes prescription medication addiction.

To single out an individual with prescription medication addiction, you should look for the following signs:

  • An abrupt change in social habits
  • Anxiety in cases where the drug is unavailable
  • Failing to quit regardless of legal consequences, and financial and social impacts
  • Seeking the services of another doctor after the original one declines to continue with the prescription
  • Disregard for personal hygiene and proper grooming
  • Providing false information about existing symptoms to doctors
  • Getting extra doses from multiple doctors
  • Overdependence on the drug
  • Failed attempts to quit despite a genuine effort
  • Having withdrawal symptoms after the individual stops using the medicine

Neurontin Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms occur after you stop using the drug. It is a sure way of identifying addiction. In essence, your body and your brain in particular are trying to adjust their chemical outputs to cope with the absence of the effects of substance use. You experience these symptoms when your body develops a tolerance to Neurontin, forcing you to use a higher dosage to achieve the usual result.

Remember, as you increase the dosage, you increase the severity of withdrawal symptoms. The most predominant Neurontin withdrawal symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Abdominal pain
  • A change in appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Crying spells
  • Restlessness

The majority of these symptoms should not raise an alarm. However, seizures can lead to severe injury or, even worse, death. When you decide to quit using Neurontin, please consult your doctor regardless of whether you are under medical prescription or not. It would be best if you remained under close supervision, preferably in a hospital setting. We can help you get through the withdrawal period with utmost professional care.

Several factors that affect withdrawal include age, length of use, using Neurontin with other drugs or alcohol, dosage amount, and concurrent medical health problems. Withdrawal occurs within 12 hours up to one week after quitting the medication. The symptoms can last up to 10 days.

Neurontin Overdose

Prescription drug overdose is common nowadays with significant cases rising in recent years. Neurontin overdose occurs when you mix it with other drugs like opioids or alcohol.

There is no antidote for Neurontin overdose, which can prevent the drug from affecting the brain. Doctors only try to suppress immediate life-threatening symptoms. There is a likelihood of permanent brain damage, even if there is early intervention.

When you buy Neurontin on the streets, there is a danger that it could be laced with other intoxicants. Illegal distributors often mix it with substances like heroin to boost its effect. In these cases, you end up having an overdose of Neurontin and some other drug.

Signs of Neurontin overdose include:

  • Double vision
  • High/low blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Double vision
  • Slow heart rate
  • Tremors
  • Losing control of body movements

When you mix Neurontin with opioids, you experience a limited flow of oxygen to the brain cells. The central nervous system is depressed, resulting in slowed breathing. When your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, cell death occurs, consequently leading to brain damage.

What Do You do in the Case of an Overdose?

When you get a patient with an overdose of Neurontin, make sure that the airway is clear. It facilitates effective breathing. Secondly, use activated charcoal to treat the individual. The charcoal absorbs the Neurontin and other intoxicants like opioids. It helps neutralize the excess levels of the drug. The charcoal then leaves your system naturally.

After stomach pumping, treat the high or low blood pressure until it is back to the average level. The overdose symptoms are now under control. After the overdose treatment, you should consider enrolling for substance addiction treatment.

Treatment Options for Neurontin Overdose and Addiction

Granite Recovery Centers is one of the best rehabilitation companies in the industry. Our wide array of treatment options includes medical detox, psychotherapy, extended care, and sober living. Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.

Taking excessive Neurontin is a sign of addiction. Mixing with other drugs to attain a higher effect can be detrimental to your health, especially your cardiovascular system and brain. We ensure your road to recovery is smooth. Healing and sober living are possible. First, we recommend you seek the services of your doctor. The safest way of limiting Neurontin use is tapering off the medication under your doctor’s supervision. Our doctors can see you through this process.

We recommend small doses of Neurontin so that you can safely get off the medication. Some cases, like those with severe withdrawal symptoms, require intensive inpatient monitoring. If complications arise, medical withdrawal management is imperative. You can phase out Neurontin’s use in one week, but this depends on the individual’s situation. Reducing medication at a rate of 300 milligrams after four days creates room for safer discontinuation of Neurontin. Such methods for ending Neurontin use is best done under the care of one of our trained professionals.

Although some people may argue that Neurontin plays a crucial role in treating neuropathic pain, it is also essential to analyze the drug’s negative impact. Neurontin addiction is real. If you notice some of the above signs of addiction and withdrawal symptoms, seek the services of Granite Recovery Centers, and we will be glad to oblige.

At Granite Recovery Centers, we want to provide accurate information about health and addiction so that our readers can make informed decisions.

We have credentialed medical doctors & clinicians who specialize in addiction treatment review the information on our website before it is published. We use credible sources such as government websites and journal articles when citing statistics or other medically related topics.